War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0600 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

rear of the position just vacated by the artillery on the hill. This had scarcely been done before three regiments of the enemy's infantry came over the brow of the hill and poured in a heavy fire on the small force behind the fence. Our men replied with spirit ad accuracy, holding their position for about eight minutes, and enabling the artillery formerly stationed on the hill to get safely to the rear. This accomplished, and seeing the uselessness of a further resistance in presence of such a superior force, I directed the men to rejoin their regiment. I am sorry I cannot designate the companies who rallied, as they are deserving of great praise.

Perceiving that the main body of our little command were retiring through the town, and fearing that the First Brigade, holding our left wing, might be cut off, I rode across the town to their position, and ordered them to retire to the rear. An order to the same effect was given almost simultaneously by Captain Scheffler, of General Banks' staff.

Colonel Donnelly withdrew the three regiments of his brigade through the streets of the city in perfect order and regularity, although menaced by a large force of cavalry on his right, by two regiments of infantry, moving through a street two squares distant on his left, and by two batteries of artillery shelling his rear. His line of retreat lay through open country and light belts of timber, about 2 miles distant from and parallel with the pike. Although continually menaced by an immensely superior force, and moving under a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, this gallant officer, with his equally gallant command, never broke their step or changed their order of retreat, resorting to the double-quick for but two minutes, when in crossing a ravine the enemy's battery obtained an accurate range upon them.

After marching with Colonel Donnelly about 12 miles I concluded to endeavor to communicate the route of march of his command to you, and after a ride of 2 miles across the woods I succeeded in joining you.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Brigadier General ALPHEUS S. WILLIAMS,

Commanding First Division.

Numbers 24. Report of Captain R. B. Hampton, Battery F, Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Chief of Artillery, of operations May 25-28.

WILLIAMSPORT, MD., May 29, 1862.

I have the honor to report that after a short engagement at Strasburg, on the afternoon of the 24th, in which the four guns belonging to my battery and one howitzer belonging to Captain Best participated, and with which we succeeded in holding the enemy in check for some two hours and a half, I was compelled to withdraw the artillery, and started by a circuitous route to Winchester, under command of First Lieutenant J. P. Fleming, after which I returned to Strasburg to endeavor to bring forward my battery wagon and forge, and some few men who had remained with them, ordered all wagons, men, &c., to proceed on the Middle road to Winchester, all of which we got in column about